Hahnemann Hospital's closure driven by greed, local officials say

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney are taking to task the leadership of Hahnemann University Hospital's owner over the facility's finances and planned closure, according to GlobeSt.com.

The governor and mayor issued a joint news release July 11, placing blame on leaders for the Philadelphia-based hospital's problems.

"The situation at Hahnemann University Hospital, caused by CEO Joel Freedman and his team of venture capitalists, is an absolute disgrace and shows a greed-driven lack of care for the community," they said. "The hospital has $300 million in debt that is growing daily. Now the owners want a bankruptcy proceeding to protect the profits they extracted from the hospital and community. This mounting debt means a short-term solution is simply not viable."

Mr. Wolf and Mr. Kenney reiterated their support for hospital workers, patients and the community. They also said they will continue working to protect patient care at Hahnemann.

 "While it is clear that the hospital's current operation is no longer financially viable, we are both committed to working with potential investors to find support for the restructuring of Hahnemann and for protecting St. Christopher's Hospital for Children. Maintaining a level of medical services at Hahnemann and ensuring St. Christopher's never faces a similar fate is critically important to saving jobs and lives, as well as meeting the needs of Philadelphians," they said.

The two called on "any willing or interested parties to contact either of our offices to discuss how we can help mitigate the damage done by Joel Freedman and his firm."

Philadelphia Academic Health System and a few of its subsidiaries, including Hahnemann and St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy June 30.  

A Philadelphia Common Pleas judge recently granted part of a preliminary injunction request that stops Philadelphia Academic Health System — a subsidiary of American Academic Health System, founded by Mr. Freedman — from shutting down the hospital without a closure plan authorized by the city.

Meanwhile, Hahnemann has stopped taking critically ill patients in its emergency room. The hospital's ER remains open to take care of patients with less critical needs. Hahnemann also announced plans to scale back other services, such as nonemergency surgeries and procedures, including infant deliveries.

The hospital is slated to close by Sept. 6.


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